Nicholas Gabrelcik (FSGA photo)
OCALA, Fla. (Aug. 5, 2018) – Nicholas Gabrelcik won the Florida Amateur Match Play after two hard-fought matches Sunday at Golden Ocala Golf Club. Gabrelcik, of Trinity, Fla., had to get past Trevor Hulbert of Orlando to win the title.
Gabrelcik, a 16-year-old high school junior who will play for the University of North Florida, got off to an early lead when Hulbert bogeyed the first hole of the final match, but was 1 down on No. 11 tee after Hulbert birdied the first hole of the back nine. Gabrelcik birdied the 11th but Hulbert birdied the 12th to cancel it out.
Ultimately, a double bogey by Hulbert at No. 13 and bogeys at Nos. 15 and 18 spelled the end for Hulbert, and cleared the way for a Gabrelcik’s 2-up victory. He sealed the championship with a birdie on the final hole.
Gabrelcik defeated David Morgan, 3 and 2, on Sunday morning to reach the final match. He came into the championship with the No. 6 seed on the match-play bracket.
As for Hulbert, he earned his ticket to the final by defeating Joe Alfieri, the top seed and arguably the favorite in this championship. Alfieri won the Florida Match Play title in 2001 and has been named FSGA Player of the Year four times.
ROUNDS OF 16, QUARTEFINALS
The Florida Match Play Championship is down to four players at Golden Ocala Golf Club. Most notably, that includes stroke-play medalist Joe Alfieri, who won this championship in 2010 and is going for another title.
Alfieri had a first-round bye on the bracket, but he has certainly earned his place in the semifinals from there. Alfieri, of Lutz, Fla., won his two Saturday matches by margins of 4 and 2 and 4 and 3, respectively.
In Sunday’s semifinals, Alfieri will have to take on Josh Pisarri, of Naples, who got through the his quarterfinal match against Trevor Hulbert by a 4-and-3 margin. Pisarri is the No. 53 seed.
David Morgan, also of Naples, advanced to the semifinals after taking down No. 2 seed Christopher Carlin. Morgan will meet Nicholas Gabrelcik, who advanced from the quarterfinals with a 1-up victory on Manual Girona.
ROUNDS OF 64, 32
Joe Alfieri, 2001 Amateur Match Play Champion and four-time FSGA Player of Year, only had to play one match on the first day of match play. After taking the top spot with a 3-under 69, Alfieri got a bye in the first head-to-head round at Golden Ocala Golf Club.
Christopher Carlin, the No. 2 seed, had to play for his opportunity to advance from the Round of 64, however, and beat Charles Alexander, 2 up. Perhaps the biggest upset of the first round was Josh Pisarri’s defeat of 2015 champion T.J. Shuart, 3 and 2. Last year’s stroke play medalist, Dustin Dingus, took a much higher seed this time around after an 82 in stroke play. Dingus, No. 60 on the 64-man bracket, lost to Colin Kresl, the No. 5 seed, in 19 holes.
The Round of 32 began in the afternoon. Alfieri easily advanced to the next round with a 1-up victory of Kevin Lynn. Carlin did, too, with a 3-and-2 defeat of Landon Weber.
Derek Hurwitch had the largest margin of victory in the first round, a 7-and-6 defeat of Jason Del Rosso, only to fall, 2 up to Connor Campbell in the Round of 32.
Pisarri advanced, 4 and 3, over Brian Armstrong.
Joe Alfieri will take the top spot on the Florida Amateur Match Play bracket after a first-round 69 at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club. The event includes 63 players, and Friday’s round determined their position on a 64-player match-play bracket.
Alfieri, of Lutz, Fla., won this tournament in 2001. He is also a four-time FSGA Player of the Year honoree. Alfieri’s round of 3-under 69 included three birdies and no bogeys.
Christopher Carlin, who won the event in 2016, was one shot behind Alfieri with 70. Four players, including Nicholas Gabrelcik, Nilo Sanchez, Colin Kresl, and Manuel Girona, tied for third place at 1 under71. Those six players were the only ones under par.
T.J. Shuart, the 2015 champion, posted an even-par round to finish as a low seed heading into match play. Last year’s stroke-play medalist, Dustin Dingus, finished as a higher seed with a round of 82.
The Round of 64 matches begin Friday morning followed by the Round of 32 in the afternoon. Alfieri will start with a first-round bye and play the Round of 32 in the afternoon.